When Sophie Thinks She Can’t . . . by Molly Bang

 – Sophie Needs A New Mindset! –


We find Sophie at the table trying to place various puzzle pieces into a square. When her older sister comes by, moves the pieces quickly into place and says, “Too bad you’re not smart,” then walks away. Sophie’s self-confidence plummets and she thinks she can’t do anything.

The lesson at school the next day is about the word smart. Just what she doesn’t want to talk about. The teacher explains that becoming smart takes exercise. She wants them to exercise their brains with a math puzzle using squares and rectangles. Oh, no! Sophie doesn’t want anything to do with dreaded puzzles. She feels she’s good at soccer and working hard in the garden, but NOT PUZZLES! When the class has trouble working the puzzle Ms. Mulry, the teacher introduces them to another word that might help: Yet.

Cons: The stereotype of having an older sibling come by when Sophie is having trouble working the puzzle, insult her, work the puzzle quickly, then walk away, was about enough to cause me to close the book. I felt that part wasn’t necessary at all to the book. Sophie could have had trouble with the puzzle and labeled herself as a failure at puzzles and math, without the rudeness of a family member. That was very disappointing.

Pros: Though the book felt a bit too much of a forced lesson, it had an extremely good point about continuing to work on something and not giving up too quickly.

Author/Illustrator: Molly Bang

Published by: The Blue Sky Press, 2018

  • Approx. Words: 584
  • Ages: open
  • Pages: 40

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